It must have seemed like a lock. The Joseph Eagles boys, ranked at or near the top 10 facing off in an away game against the 48th-ranked Wallowa Cougars. What could go wrong?
Everything, if you’re Joseph. The Cougars shot the Eagles from the sky, 44-37, in a hard fought contest that Cougars coach, David Howe, called a dog fight from the get-go.
Howe said the Cougars struggled early, after football playoffs kept several players from fully participating in practice. Injuries also played a role.
“I am hopeful that maybe after Saturday’s win that we have turned the corner,” he said. He also noted that Zeb Hermens played lights out at point guard while Mason Moore hit some timely shots. Christopher Nobles got accolades after he came up with some timely steals for Wallowa, which were key to the victory.
Nobles held the scoring torch with 15 and Tristin Bales placed nine. Wyatt Prince added eight for the cause.
Joseph coach, Olan Fulfer, was not pleased with his team’s performance.
“We’re not making shots,” he said. “We need to work harder. We missed more lay-ins and close shots, and it hurts our defense. We have to make it a habit.”
Mason Ferre led the scoring with 10 while Hadley Miller added seven and Kade Kilgore knocked two three-pointers through the hoop down the stretch.
“He’s been stepping up big-time; I can’t say enough good things about him,” Fulfer said. “He hits shots, he plays defense — Kade’s our most consistent player.”